James Hugh Calum Laurie was born on June 11, 1959, and was the youngest of four children of Dr. William George Ranald "Ran" Mundell and Patricia Laurie. He attended the Dragon School, a well-known prep school in Oxford, before going on to Eton and Selwyn College.
His first distinctions at Eton were in rowing. In 1977, he was half of the junior coxed pair that won the English national title. Representing England's Youth Team at the 1977 World Championships, he and his partner finished fourth. Later he also achieved a Blue by rowing for Cambridge in the 1980 University Boat Race. By this time, he was also pursuing a career in the Cambridge Footlights, of which he became president in 1981.
At Cambridge, Hugh first worked with Emma Thompson and Stephen Fry. Subsequently, all three launched successful careers in comedy and acting. As well as writing for television, Hugh published a novel, The Gun Seller, and has another novel (Paper Soldier) in progress.
Hugh had a very successful comedy career on British television hosting A Bit of Fry and Laurie with popular comedian, Stephen Fry. The show consisted of comedy sketches and anecdotes. He also appeared alongside Rowan Atkinson in the British comedy hit series Blackadder as the Prince Regent and later as a less-than-intelligent soldier in World War I.
In his role as cantankerous and antisocial Dr. Gregory House in the FOX series House, Laurie has become a renowned award-winning actor in the United States. On May 23, 2007, Hugh Laurie was honored with the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
Hugh Laurie has been married to Jo Green since 1989, and the couple has three children, Charlie, Bill and Rebecca.